A lot has been said about establishing a quiet zone in Mukilteo – some of it incorrect. To set the record straight, I have highlighted some of the agreements and milestones that were necessary to create a quiet zone.
* December 2004: Port of Everett and Citizens for a Quality Mukilteo signed an agreement as mitigation for the Rail/Barge Transfer Facility to pay up to $600,000 for the implementation of a quiet zone in Mukilteo, subject to the issuance of permits.
* August 2005: The port received permits to start the first phase of construction on the Rail/Barge Transfer Facility.
* May 2006: The port and the city of Mukilteo signed an interlocal agreement to implement a quiet zone. This agreement called for the city to make an application and the port to fund up to a maximum of $600,000 for the application, design and implementation of the quiet zone.
* August 2006: The Federal Railroad Administration amended its regulations relating to the implementation of quiet zones, setting forth the current criteria necessary to apply for a quiet zone designation.
* August 2006: After the quiet zone rules were amended, the port sought the services of HDR, an engineering firm experienced in rail work, to identify quiet zone options and costs.
* Oct. 10, 2006: With the HDR study complete, the report was presented to the Port Commission, which in turn directed staff to turn the study over to Mukilteo, for selection of an alternative.
* Jan. 31, 2007: The Mukilteo City Council approved the four-quadrant gate alternative at the Mount Baker Crossing.
Right now, the port, in cooperation with city staff, is gathering materials to prepare the application for a quiet zone designation. We continue to work together with the goal of finding a design at a cost that can be supported by all parties, including the citizenry of Mukilteo.
John M. Mohr
Port of Everett